MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘brutality’

Three Ways Law Enforcement Must Be Reformed Right Now | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 11, 2020

https://mises.org/wire/three-ways-law-enforcement-must-be-reformed-right-now?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=8b216a96ca-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-8b216a96ca-228343965

I don’t know which acts of police abuse and brutality are motivated by racism and which are not. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that we could end all racial bias immediately through some magic spell or button we could press. Would this end police abuse, or even most of it?

Experience tells us no. The data is clear that police abuse is not limited to any particular group. Indeed, a majority of those shot by police are white.

For example, when police officer Phillip Brailsford gunned down Daniel Shaver, it’s unlikely that he was motivated by some sort of ethnic or racial bias. The same was probably true when police shot Duncan Lemp in his sleep during a no-knock raid, or when police pinned Tony Timpa to the ground until he died. After Timpa died police joked about it, and apparently found the situation quite hilarious. This is not limited just to local police personnel. When federal agents massacred more than eighty (mostly white) men, women, and children at Waco, law enforcement officers probably weren’t motivated by the race of their victims, either.

Police also appear to have no aversion to being callously indifferent toward victims of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. When police elected to cower outside Stoneman Douglas High School rather than face the gunman slaughtering children inside, it’s unlikely that they paid much attention to the racial makeup of the student body (a majority of which was white.)

Unfortunately, anecdotes like these could be recalled for hours and hours.

“But nonwhites are more often targeted proportionally!,” some might say. This may be so, and indeed some may decide that turning police into equal-opportunity abusers is a type of progress in itself, but it hardly addresses the systemic foundations of police abuse.

And the underlying problems are substantial. They are systemic and built into the law enforcement community in the United States for several reasons.

First, police are protected from accountability both by laws granting them legal immunity and by police labor unions that shield abusers. Secondly, the proliferation of laws designed to target nonviolent people for petty offenses (most commonly drug offenses) provides police with nearly endless opportunities to stop and harass people who have committed no real crime.

Murray Rothbard has illustrated how the ideal in this situation would be a type of police privatization. But for those who are not yet ready for such a radical reform, much can be done in the meantime through more mild, yet very necessary, reforms.

One: End Legal Immunity for Police

At the core of the issue is a lack of accountability and legal liability on the part of government employees who enforce the laws. Thanks to activist progovernment judges and legislation designed to shield police, it is extremely difficult to hold abusive law enforcement agents accountable.

Chris Calton explains:

The doctrine of qualified immunity essentially says that for a police officer to be held accountable, there must be a statute specifying all the particularities of his or her unique situation. Anything even remotely ambiguous falls under the broad category of “discretion.” In theory, legal immunity is “qualified,” but in practice, it is effectively absolute.

This way of thinking, however, is only a few decades old. It was solidified in American law by activist Supreme Court judges in 1967. Their ruling essentially created new law which erected new barriers against holding police accountable for abusive behavior.

As ABC reported this week:

While the Civil Rights Act of 1871 gives Americans the unambiguous ability to sue public officials over civil rights violations, the Supreme Court has subsequently limited liability to only those rights that have become “clearly established law.”

Critics say the standard is near-impossible to meet.

“In order for a plaintiff to defeat qualified immunity, they have to find a prior case that has held unconstitutional an incident with virtually identical facts to the one the plaintiff is bringing,” said UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz. “And over the last 15 years, the court has made it a more and more difficult standard for plaintiffs to overcome to go to trial.”

Last month, a Reuters report noted that “the doctrine has become a nearly failsafe tool to let police brutality go unpunished and deny victims their constitutional rights.”

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Everything you know about Europe is wrong – UnHerd

Posted by M. C. on January 23, 2020

https://unherd.com/2020/01/both-brexiteers-and-remainers-know-nothing-about-europe/

BY

The apocryphal newspaper headline — “fog in the channel, continent isolated” — famously said something about the British mindset. It’s hardly surprising that we are insular — we are literally an island after all — but this insularity is something that curiously crosses all barriers in British social and political life, whether of Left or Right, middle or working class, and on almost every issue.

This is true even for British liberals who, reeling since the night of 23 June, 2016, have made the continent a sort of spiritual home as they’ve become alienated from their countrymen.

Right-thinking Britons see their country as an embarrassment sliding towards populism, a sad contrast to the moral superpower that is Germany and France under centrist leader Emmanuel Macron. Yet the Continent of the Anglo liberal imagination is as unreal as the supposed nostalgic Britain of yesteryear loved by Leavers.

 

Italy

Britain, many people fear, is moving away from the European dream and towards fascism. It’s such an established meme that even the most recent BBC Agatha Christie adaptation was a thinly-veiled analogy about 1930s fascism and Brexit.

Yet people keep on coming to this Nazi hellhole, with the fabled “Brexodus” of migrants leaving the country actually seeing an extra 212,000 people arriving last year, and with record numbers of foreign students, too.

The fascist Brexit Britain theory is held among a minority of Remainers because they’re measuring the country by a theoretical ideal rather than comparing it to other — real — countries. So while the hate crime “surge” following the referendum mostly involved very minor incidents, Italy saw a number of openly racist murders during the late 2010s.

Whether they’re connected or not, Italy has also had a populist Right-wing government in power for most of the past four years, and the Lega may well return — at around 33% in the polls, it is by some distance the most popular party. Italian politics has been, as long as anyone can remember, chaotic and unstable, which makes me wonder if Mary Beard’s Italian colleagues who make her feel “embarrassed” about Brexit have been paying attention to their own country.

 

France

A central theme of fascism is a love of violence against ideological opponents, and so a visitor from outer space with a vague understanding of our human political philosophy would probably conclude that there was only one fascist state in the EU — France, where the brutality of the police is on a scale that would be unfathomable in England.

Among the recent victims of the gleefully violent French police is a teenager who lost an eye in Strasbourg and an elderly woman in Marseilles who died from her injuries after being hit by a rubber bullet. Just this month prosecutors launched a probe after a video appeared to show a policeman firing point-blank at protestors with a riot control gun.

France is quite far down from Britain in the Freedom International rating, and treats minorities like Roma in a way that would do more than embarrass liberal Brits.

Right-wingers often complain that the horrific behaviour of the French police towards the gilets jaunes has received scant coverage in the BBC; certainly if Hungary or Poland treated their citizens like that, I’m pretty sure it would be on our news more. But then France has always been a politically violent country.

The last mass murder of protesters in England occurred in 1819, when 18 people were killed by authorities in Manchester; in France police in Paris killed up to three hundred unarmed protesters in 1961.

Had anything even vaguely comparable happened during the US Civil Rights era it would have been the subject of about 500 films and even my children in an English primary school would now be learning about it now. But then Anglo liberals are fascinated with the Anglo world; not so much by the continent.

France is different to England, in some ways far more traditional; for example, the same-sex marriage campaign there was opposed by enormous protests, while, like many continental countries, it has a 12-week limit for abortion, when even talk of a 20 weeks-limit would have the Anglo commentariat dressing up in those Handmaid’s Tale outfits.

Germany Read the rest of this entry »

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Steelers-Bengals brutality a reminder life-altering violence is at NFL’s core

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2017

More on the National Soros Football League

The debate is not complete until Costas blames NFL violence on guns.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/dec/05/steelers-bengals-game-violence-ryan-shazier-nfl

The body count included a pair of young men carted off on stretchers and still more knocked out with serious injuries. Some were a result of routine plays that embody football’s existential risks, others were the offspring of more sinister intentions. Who can say, as the medics rush the field before a hushed stadium or from the antiseptic fluorescent buzz of a hospital room, which brand of violence is more concerning? Does it even matter? Read the rest of this entry »

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